Month: March 2011

Daily Inspiration 3-31-11

Daily Inspiration 3-31-11

“Do not let what you cannot do
interfere with what you can do.”
— John Wooden
I don’t know about you; however, I know how busy I can get and how many things I have on my plate at any given time. It is especially true with a new business and one that is expanding quickly because it seems like there is no end to the things to do. What usually develops is frustration, or becoming overwhelmed. Neither of those feels very good and most of the time they cripple us from moving forward until we can get past them, reconcile them, or let them go.
One thing that helps me a lot is to focus on what I can do instead of what I cannot do. The list of things that I don’t have time or energy to get to gets longer every day. Worrying about any of that would be so counter productive. The best thing I can do is to focus on what I can do and begin doing that. Doing what I can do is empowering and productive and effective.
The other thing that I’ve found that helps a lot is to let go and just not worry about anything at all. The world is still spinning on its axis without my help and the sun came up today one more time without any assistance or suggestion from me and it will likely keep coming up long after I’m gone.
If I wanted to worry, there would be plenty to worry about, but I have learned that as soon as I feel a worried thought entering my consciousness, I need to let go of the oars and float downstream. Maybe I’ll take a little nap, or a walk, or some other thing that occupies my body and thinking for a short time–a diversion, if you will. It is most effective. Then, when I return, I am refreshed and unworried.
Has Worrying Ever Changed Anything For The Better? Not In My Life.
Spread Some Joy Today–Just do what you can and forget about the rest. Give the rest to God and let go of it. It will all be okay. . . Don’t worry, be happy.
Daily Inspiration 3-30-11

Daily Inspiration 3-30-11

“Everyone thinks of changing the world,
but no one thinks of changing himself.”
— Leo Tolstoy
Isn’t it so true how we want to change the world, the other, the system, the outside, and not think about changing ourselves, our outlook, our attitude, our view instead.
There’s a phrase I love to say when I’m trying to change the world that helps me remember what I’m doing. I say that I’m swimming upstream. I love the analogy of life being like a river and that everything we want is downstream and we just need to not worry about things so much and stop struggling with other people, things and events, let go of the oars and just enjoy the journey.
Many of us have been brought up with the philosophy that the struggle is important and that without the struggle, there can be no true success. Just as in body building, they have that silly phrase, “no gain without pain.” So, we’ve been brought up to have this work ethic where we “make” things happen, because there is no real success or gain without the pain and struggle of work.
I used to believe that and live it. I’m thinking now that I’ve accepted an idea that just never felt quite right, but I just kept on doing it for so long. Now I’m thinking that the struggle and/or pain is entirely self-inflicted and needless, or even self-defeating.
What if we went back and did it all over again, but this time we decided to let go of the oars and experience the journey with eyes wide open? What if we adopted a single goal in our daily lives of experiencing as much joy as possible? Some would say (because I’ve heard the argument) that nothing would ever get done. But, I’m not accepting that premise either. Joy doesn’t mean that nothing gets done, what it means is there is no struggle or pain! When you do what you love to do, there is copious amounts of joy. Having a passion for serving others can be so effective, rewarding and yes, even profitable.
Truth is, we can’t rewind and start over, and the good news about that is that we don’t need to do that because we can change any time we decide to do so. And, it is in the changing of ourselves instead of everything outside of us that will change everything in our world just by accepting that premise and responsibility.
It Is Not An Idealistic Idea, Just A Better One . . .
Spread Some Joy Today–by playing with the idea that you can have joy every day, even all day if you choose to. It’s empowering.
Daily Inspiration 3-29-11

Daily Inspiration 3-29-11

“If we want our children to value education,
Then we must show our appreciation for knowledge.”
— Brad Sherman
If we want our employees to value customer service, then we must show our appreciation for customers. Whatever we want others to do, or value, we must lead the way.
I remember my parents telling me when I was young, “don’t do as I do, do as I say.” You see, that doesn’t fly very well. In one ear and out the other, and even more than this, it causes a lowering of respect for the parent, boss, teacher, spouse, or other.
I encourage our team to read books or listen to audiobooks because I know it will be of great benefit to them. At the same time, I lead the way at least 10 books ahead of them. I value and appreciate knowledge and lead by example. It works better too.
My parents told me not to smoke as they were puffing on their cigarettes. They did a lot to try to discourage me, but it was just a more of the don’t do as I do thing.
I used to see that at work where the manager was saying to do a certain thing one way and then he doing it another, and so on. There were numerous situations where that applied and it never made any sense.
Better to not give any advice than to say one thing and do another, yes?
What’s Good For The Goose. . .
Spread Some Joy Today–Forget about what others are doing or not doing and just focus on what you want and how you want to be. There’s so much more joy in that.
Daily Inspiration 3-28-11

Daily Inspiration 3-28-11

“Reality is the leading cause of stress
amongst those in touch with it.”
— Jane Wagner
“Learned helplessness is the giving-up reaction,
the quitting response that follows from the belief
that whatever you do doesn’t matter.”
— Arnold Schwarzenegger
Who cares? I don’t give s**t! It’s always something! Just when I start to make some headway, this crap happens! No matter what I do, they are never satisfied! These and a long list of statements like them are full of anger, frustration, overwhelment, and even depression. I’ve said them all and more. Many times. You?
The problem as I saw it was that things outside of myself that I had little or no control of were always messing with my plans. It was a learned helplessness that took over for a time when I felt (this is a key word) that no matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to get very far ahead. The American financial dream was looking more like a dream all the time no matter what I did–or at least that’s how it felt much of the time.
So, I would feel low for a time, blame and complain, mourn and lament, realize that no one cared that much about how I felt about it, then I would eventually buck up and go back in and fight some more. At the same time, I wanted something more and studied and dreamt of the day that I could have more control and have a smoother ride through life. Though I took two steps forward and one back, I still made progress enough to feel like it was indeed progress.
This went on all of my life and careers until just a short time ago. What changed? It isn’t the economic times, for we have and are still in one of the toughest on record. It isn’t my bank account, for that has seen better days. No, it isn’t anything at all external to me. It is internal. I changed my reaction to the things around me, or rather, I changed how I thought about things, which changed the way I FEEL about it.
Now think about that. How we feel about what we are going through is the determining factor in our response, reaction and attitude. Ask a few key questions. Is it possible to feel good, hopeful, and even joyous and be broke? Is it possible to feel good, hopeful, and even joyous in being fired? Is it possible to have your world as you know it crashing down around you and find things to appreciate regardless? The answer to that is a resounding yes!
Since it is possible, then if we choose to change our thoughts enough so that we could feel good, hopeful and even joyous, regardless of the external things going on around us, our life would shine and smile and laugh as if everything was perfect.
Since practicing this change and continuing to practice it now, my life is blessed and full and awesome and perfect now. It is only my choice of how I look at things and they look mighty fine.
If I Truly Believe In God, What In The World Do I Have To Be Worried About?
Spread Some Joy Today–Love yourself first! Feel good. It is from that place that you can benefit others by loving them.
Daily Inspiration 3-27-11

Daily Inspiration 3-27-11

“I never blame myself when I’m not hitting.
I just blame the bat and if it keeps up,
I change bats. After all, if I know it isn’t my fault
that I’m not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?”
— Yogi Berra
Well, there ya go. . .
The Good News About That Is That There Are So Many People And Things . . .
Spread Some Joy Today–How about not blaming anyone, including ourselves? Without blame, it would be a kinder, gentler world!
Daily Inspiration 3-26-11

Daily Inspiration 3-26-11

“We are shaped by our thoughts;
we become what we think.
When the mind is pure,
joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
— Buddha
“The roots of all goodness lie
in the soil of appreciation for goodness.”
— Dalai Lama
“Instead of complaining that the rosebush is full of thorns,
be happy that the thorn bush has roses.”
— Proverb
I ran across a rather cynical, yet functionally true statement about negatively charged people: “Man spends his life in reasoning on the past, in complaining of the present, in fearing the future.” — Antoine Rivarol.
I can so relate to that quote by Antoine because I was taught this, the TV taught it, all my friends taught it and it was just accepted as the way life was–with sprinkles of happiness here and there. Complaining and blaming is a national pastime in the U.S. and you only have to turn on the radio, TV, or open a newspaper to see that clearly. It is so widely accepted and common. Yet we all know when we think about it, that it doesn’t help us, but we don’t bother to change it.
We can change it when we decide we want to, and that is where all of our power is. Once the decision is made, there are some things I’ve found extremely effective in making the transition away from being a complainer. The good news is when you make the decision, that is the hardest part, and the rest of this is easy. Here it is:
Turn your focus away from the problem. As we focus on the problem (complaining), we attract more of the problem and problems. We simply have to stop looking at and talking about the problem. Spend 5 seconds on the problem just to acknowledge it is there, then move away.
Next, instead of focusing on the problem, which is what you really don’t want, change your focus to what you do want. Imagine having what you want and put all of your energy and attention there, and completely ignore the problem. Feel what it feels like in your imagination.
Next, begin to appreciate anything and everything that you possibly can. Write down the positive aspects of things and people in your life, including yourself. This may take a moment or two of effort, but once you get it going, you will be amazed at the positive aspects you can come up with.
As you focus away from the problem (what you do not want), and then focus in on what you do want, or the way you would like things to be, and begin appreciating the positive aspects in your life, I predict there will be massively good changes in your life as you continually practice this simple strategy.
This strategy is now something that I practice all day every day without fail and it is making a huge difference in my joy. I’ve said it before and will say it again: I’ve had more joy in my life in the last two years than in the prior almost 60 years. That blows me away to think about that change. I find joy every where I look and in people I meet and I spread joy where ever I go now.
Better Late Than Never! Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks. It’s Never Too Late To Change.
Spread Some Joy Today–Make a decision today. Decisions are powerful joy creators!
Daily Inspiration 3-25-11

Daily Inspiration 3-25-11

“85 percent of the time I try something, I fail.”
— Bill Gates
It is a common thing to not want to try because of a fear of failure. As a sales manager for over 40 years, I’ve seen that in many sales people. Many don’t think they are good enough, smart enough, or experienced enough, and so many lack personal confidence in their own abilities. These are the ones who come and go. They fail mostly because they fail to try, and they fail to try because of what they believe about themselves relative to their environment.
When I see a quote like the Bill Gates quote where he says something so strange as that 85 percent of the things he tries doesn’t work, I think of all those sales people who lacked enough confidence to even give it a chance of success. If a person who has reached the pinnacle of financial success says he fails on 85 percent of the things he tries, that should be a good quote to carry around with us to remind us that if we are willing to try more, we can join the elite who win more.
What we focus on with Bill Gates is the 15 percent that he claims as his successes. We didn’t really know they were only 15 percent; instead, we thought he was so smart and so lucky to have made all the right decisions and made them at the perfect time; that he was brought up well and that he graduated at the top of his class. Instead, he was a college drop-out, seizing an opportunity in business based on a dream of what could be and how he saw the future in his head. In other words, he tried; he risked; he dared.
History is full of very famous people that we think were successes all their lives, lucky beyond our imagination, and at the right place at the right time. In my study of so many of these famous people like Conrad Hilton, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Carnegie, Harvey Firestone, Alfred P Sloan, John D Rockefeller, Henry Ford, Thomas A Edison, and many more, I have found that they failed far more than they succeeded, that they did not get lucky, that they struggled many times, made serious mistakes, and more, but the common denominator among them is that they believed in what they were doing, where they wanted to go and they tried a lot of things, thinking not of the possibility of failure, but of success. Many were like Bill Gates in that they tried a hundred things and eighty five of them failed.
But they weren’t really failures were they? Those 85 things brought them closer and closer to massive success. That is the single difference I have found among many famous and successful business leaders–they tried a lot, kept trying even when things didn’t work out the way they hoped, and succeeded as a result. Success is so much more a matter of perseverance and belief than anything else. This can give us all a great deal of hope.
Try. Pay Attention. Adjust. Try. Pay Attention. Adjust. Try. Pay Attention. Adjust. . .
Spread Some Joy Today–Get excited about what you can do with what you know and what your upbringing is. Get excited about who you are, that you’re smart and fun and interesting and bold enough to try, and wise enough to keep trying. You are always better than you think you are. Let it be.
Daily Inspiration 3-24-11

Daily Inspiration 3-24-11

“Take the world as you find it;
enjoy everything.
“Viva la bagatelle!”
— Benjamin Disraeli
“Have fun. I don’t kid myself. Life is very fragile,
and success doesn’t change that. If anything,
success makes it more fragile. Anything can change,
without warning, and that’s why I try not to
take any of what’s happened too seriously.”
— Donald J Trump
I used to take life so seriously and focus on the problems, worry about the future, and generally live in a lot of frustration and disappointment. I’ve learned that it was all just in my head, or rather just my own thinking that caused that, not other people or events. Life hasn’t changed from 10 or 15 years ago really. We may have more technology or something, but basically life remains unchanged in that there will always be problems, other people doing or saying what we don’t want to hear or see. So, waiting on the world to change is pretty much pointless. The only thing left is me. I have learned that I have the power to change myself. Desire is another issue, and I do have that; however, we all have the power, yet many lack the desire to change.
One of the things that has helped me change my thinking is to have fun, or enjoy the day. Traveling between appointments is a good way to see and enjoy the weather, the hustle and bustle of the traffic, the music, or whatever. At the appointment, I find it joyful to talk with clients and learn about them and their businesses. I love talking to our team members, sharing success stories, insights, ideas.
I love looking through YouTube for videos to blog about, dealing with other social media on behalf of our clients and myself. The technology of communication in today’s world is absolutely fascinating to me. So many brilliant minds out there working on this stuff and sharing it with all of us.
I love writing these Daily Inspirations. Sometimes I am doing them competing with the clock to get it done as tonight, but it is always fun and enjoyable and rewarding–and, frankly, I learn a great deal by just sharing my thoughts and experiences.
I love–no–I absolutely love creating my own schedule. If I am tired and want to take a nap for an hour, I just schedule myself in. I take breaks. I open the windows and enjoy the weather while I work.
It’s all fun for me now. It is really a joy and a privilege. That newer attitude of enjoyment wipes out stress and worry. There’s nothing to worry about when you’re having fun.
It’s all good, you know–if you want it to be.
Spread Some Joy Today–Decide to enjoy everything you do from now on. I predict you will. I know you can.
Daily Inspiration 3-23-11

Daily Inspiration 3-23-11

“You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total
of this world’s happiness now. How? By giving a few words
of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged.
Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today,
but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.”
— Dale Carnegie
Unless it was a lot of money, I don’t remember who gave me money for birthday’s or other such occasions. I only remember a small number of the physical gifts that I’ve received over the many years. I think I might count them on one hand, and they had nothing to do with price, just how they matched my desires. I’ve forgotten almost every bit of advice I’ve received, and I have received a good deal of it.
Yes, all of those things hold little meaning to me, and probably to a great many people, but what I do remember and will always remember is those who really encouraged me to do, or to be better, or to keep going, or to keep writing, or what ever it may be. I find that I cherish those above all else. And, I also find it interesting that these encouragements are not all that plentiful that I could even begin to take them for granted.
This is one reason that I call myself a “professional encourager.” I’m not sure that means anything other than I try to encourage people where ever I find them and especially if they are looking like they could use a boost. Just to watch their eyes light up and a smile come to their face is reward enough. Yet, the main reason that I have become such an encourager is because I know what it is like to get it and how it makes me feel, how it spurs me onward and how long it lasts. I want to give that same gift to everyone on the planet.
You know, there is enough negativity going on all around us, plus the pressures of survival in a fast-paced world. If you want to do something that people will remember, or that will matter, then give them some encouragement. It may just change a life, and yours in the bargain.
Sincere Encouragement Is A Pure Form Of Love.
Spread Some Joy Today–Now that you know how much a bit of encouragement can bring joy, make it a regular event! Become a joy spreader!
Daily Inspiration 3-22-11

Daily Inspiration 3-22-11

“Can anything be so elegant as to have
few wants, and to serve them one’s self?”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come
as a result of getting something we don’t have,
but rather of recognizing and appreciating
what we do have.”
— Frederick Keonig
A movie that I hadn’t seen in some time which was made in 2006, came back to my attention and I have watched it again with great enjoyment and moved it way up my list of favorites. The movie is Outsourced. I think it is a great movie and there is so many lessons in it. I consider it a masterpiece of moviedom.
Take a company outsourcing an entire department, sending one VP to oversee the training of the new group in India and mixing the culture of the US with that of India and then throw in a bit of romance for effect, and there you have the basis.
There are a few things that really stand out for me in this movie. One is that fighting a situation is counter productive for everyone involved. It’s like happiness. It cannot be fought for, it must be surrendered to. He went there to train them to understand America so they could do their jobs, and he found that until he learned India, he would make little progress. Once he relaxed into learning about India, or rather allowing it to become part of him, he could make so much progress that people back home thought was impossible.
Another thing was the culture shock of going from Seattle to India and how it was numbing in some ways, but once he relaxed into accepting and participating, the shock became a comfortable, confident calmness. He didn’t have to give up being an American, just quit fighting the situation. In other words, go with the flow.
I think, how can we relax in our daily situations at work in order to entertain the happiness that is there for the relaxing? One way is that there are other ways of doing a thing, and other ways can be successful and not look the same as we think they should look. We don’t have to be right. I thought this after watching the electrical magician who saved the day by rewiring the building in 20 minutes. Amazing.
Another thing was the motivation of employees. It is not so different around the world. We’re all human and have the same human desires: respect, dignity, encouragement, acknowledgement, laughter, love, and much more.
Just a few of the many lessons and insights I gleaned from this great movie. And it was fun all at the same time. I like those kind of lessons. . .
What Did You Learn Today?
Spread Some Joy Today–Do something today that you really enjoy. Maybe a long lunch at a matinee movie, or dinner out, or go kart racing. . . just for the fun of it.
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